Discovery Bible Study with Multi-views Method - Be Enlightened More

By shifting our point view we can discover more from the passage we are studying. This is especially applicable to the study of parables. Let's work with some examples:
1.  The Parable of the Pearl of great price.
  • Matthew 13:45-46 (NIV) 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
The teaching is clear - what is of most value will be worth higher than all the rest. We are to give all that we have just to gain this most valuable thing.

The tradition interpretation: 

The pearl, and the treasure in verse 44 represent Jesus Christ.
We are the merchant searching for treasure and we found it (Recall the "I've Found It" of the Billy Graham Crusades in the '70s).
So, we have Paul's life as our example in:
  • Philippians 3:8 (ESV) Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 
Another Possible Interpretation:

By switching the roles: the pearl is us(sinners) and the merchant is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ gave of His all more, to suffer for us,  just to gain us. We are worth as much as all of God!
  • Php 2:5-8  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  (6)  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  (7)  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  (8)  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
The 2nd interpretation gives us the example and the empowerment to accomplish the 1st. It is Christ who enables us to give our all to gain Him, who has given Himself to gain us. So we have:
  • Galatians 2:20 (NIV) I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
2. A better understanding of "Robbing God" of Malachi 3:8
  • Mal 3:8  Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions.
The traditional interpretation is obvious as stated in the verse. We are robbing God because our tithes belong to God. 

A deeper understanding is to ask, does God need our tithes? Where did the tithes go? Why does God demand our tithes? The answer is obvious, it is for our benefits. Whatever God commands is always for our benefits. This is revealed in verse 
  • Mal 3:11  I will rebuke the devourer for you so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the LORD of hosts
So our tithes give God the rights to protect the rest and the long term growth of our wealth! So, what how are we robbing God if we don't give our tithes?

The answer is "You are robbing God of the opportunity to bless you!" which is essentially robbing yourself if you don't give your tithes.

3. The Mustard Seed Parable of Matthew 13:31-32

  • “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” 

The principle taught is the principle of amplification and multiplication:

  • just one smallest of all plant seeds (don't judge by outward appearance nor of size)
  • sowed in a field.
  • give time to grow
  • become the largest of all plants 
  • to be a tree to give homes to birds
What does the seed stand for?
Jesus did not tell us specifically and hence Jesus is telling us that is a Kingdom Principle and is applicable to many things.

What things?

Many use the seed as faith. A small seed of faith as a start to accomplish great things for God.

Many also use the seed as money. Money is given away like a seed being sowed and whereby bring forth a great harvest of profitable returns.

The seed could also be an idea. When sowed, meaning, being realized as an innovation or an invention, that brings many benefits to all and great wealth to the inventor or entrepreneur.

In summary, at times, we can to learn more and understand better when we extend our viewpoints. There is only one caution - never overextending to conflict with the original meanings of the text within the context. Always find verses to support your interpretations.

  • Matthew 13:52-54  (CEV) 52 So he told them, “Every student of the Scriptures who becomes a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like someone who brings out new and old treasures from the storeroom.”

Lim Liat (c) 17 Feb 2019

For more on Kingdom Laws see Kingdom Laws & Principles

No comments: